2008, the year that was and a look ahead

December for me is an exciting month of the year. Even though the days are shorter and colder than usual, the spirit of the holidays lingers on; it is hard to ignore the excitement going around. But as days draw closer to the end of the month and as the clock resets to a new year  and, it is but natural to reflect back on the things that happened the past year, ponder over the what if’s and also hope for an exciting and  fruitful next year.

 

These last few days I have been pondering about what 2008 has meant to us. It has been a fruitful year and one which is full of blessings. In terms of my food blogging, I feel lucky to have discovered this medium. I started blogging a year and half ago and now I can safely say that this has become my hobby and my passion. I started off here by using the free hosting site of WordPress and this year in April I moved to my own domain here at RedChillies.

 

Blogging is not only a platform for me for sharing recipes and ideas, but also a good way of learning new ideas. Blogging also keeps my mind occupied and helps me streamline my thoughts by removing unnecessary chatter. Balancing home, work and family is not easy task as many times there are clashes in priorities. Fortunately I have found that blogging relaxes me as I am able to take off my mind of stressful matters be it related to work or home. The thought of trying out new recipes, cooking ideas, presentation etc is able to calm my nerves and gives me the much needed distraction. 

Continue reading →

Madhuram’s Eggless Buterscotch Cookies

 

Happy Holidays Everybody! 

 

After seeing the baking spree and the goodies baked on other blogs, I simply could not resist sitting on the sidelines and drool over the virtual creations. I wanted to join the bandwagon myself and try my hand at making some cookies. Now I have had not much luck in baking, more so because I first look for easy recipes, then look for eggless version and then I look for low fat alternatives. By the time I have narrowed my selection I would have lost half the battle and the end product is not scrumptious.

 

Madhuram’s blog has answers to my baking problems. Her step by step instructions are easy to follow. Her notes are well documented, detailed and leaves nothing to imagination. I tried her Butterscotch cookies and it is a keeper. I used Butterscotch and also Coconut cream pudding variety. This is an easy recipe and hardly takes time to put together. I followed her recipe to a T. The resulting cookies were crumbly and delicious and reminded us of our very own “Nankhatai”. Thanks Madhuram for all the effort you put into this as it helps baking amateurs like me.

 

This is my contribution to the “Cookie Baking Event” held at Neivadyam and also to Christmas Feast at Purva’s Daawat. 

 

PS: I have also tried her Healthy Beet Pasta and her Cereal Banana Smoothie.It is a God send recipe especially if one has a picky eater at home. Sorry no pictures here as I was way too engrossed doing the happy dance J

 

 

 

Coconut Corriander Rice

Coriander is one of our favorite herbs and I use it for garnishing Daals, Sabjis, curries, rice, salads etc pretty much everything else. Even though I say garnishing in a light sense, I sometimes get overboard and even use half of the coriander leaves just in one dish especially daal. The herb wilts in heat and its volume is lost but imparts its wonderful aroma in the process. Because of our special affinity toward this herb, depending on the size I usually buy 2-3 bunches of the coriander from the grocery each time.

 

Last week I had lots of vegetables and other stuff in my fridge, thanks to my overzealous shopping in the produce section. As a result of this over crowding, try how much ever I may, I could not find the coriander for days and I thought that I had lost in somewhere in the grocery while buying it. I had given all hopes on it.

 

 

You know what happens nextJ. I brought the grocery for this week and when I was shuffling around the things a bit in the fridge I discovered the coriander leaves brought last week. Thankfully they were fine and had not yet come to its spoiling stage. “When it rains, it pours”, so goes the saying and so I was looking for good means of using up all the coriander leaves.

 

So I made this coriander Rice this weekend and it is a good way of using the coriander leaves. Please note that even though coriander leaves appear mild and subtle; they tend to become bitter when used in large quantity. I felt 1.5 cups was a decent choice. This along with yogurt raita and some papads can be used as a meal in itself.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of raw rice
  • ¾ cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup of parboiled vegetables potatoes/carrots/beans/peas (optional)
  • Mustard seeds
  • 4-5 cloves
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Oil

To grind to paste:

  • 1.5 cups of fresh coriander
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • 2-3 garlic peeled
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp shredded coconut

Method:

  • Cook the rice making sure that the grains remain separate and that the rice is fluffy.
  • Make a paste of above ingredients adding very little water as possible. (Note: The more water is used while making the paste; the rice tends to become drier).
  • Take a heavy bottom pan. Add oil and prepare the seasoning with mustard, curry leaves, cloves, and cinnamon.
  • Add the chopped onion and sauté until the onion turns transparent. Add salt, ground paste and mix well. Add more oil at this stage as it tends to become dry.
  • Cook until the raw smell of coriander is gone. Add the cooked rice, mix well. Cover and let it simmer on low flame. Finally squeeze the juice of lemon and mix.

Serve hot with pappad and tomato cucumber raita.